In a recent interview on CNN, Vivek Ramaswamy found himself in a spirited on-air argument with anchor Abby Phillip over the use of the term “vermin,” a word employed by former President Donald Trump during a recent speech in New Hampshire. Trump, addressing his supporters, proclaimed, “We will root out the communists, Marxists, fascists, and the radical left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our county.” The choice of language sparked controversy and became a focal point during Ramaswamy’s interview.
Ramaswamy, a candidate and commentator, dismissed the discussion around the term as a “classic mainstream media move,” asserting that the focus on individual words often deflects attention from the substance of the issues at hand. He argued that the media tends to hone in on specific phrases used by figures like Trump without thoroughly interrogating the underlying policy concerns. During the interview, Ramaswamy pointed to the actions of groups like Antifa and related entities that, in his view, have been involved in destructive activities such as burning down cities over the past three years.
When pressed on whether he would use the term “vermin” himself, Ramaswamy initially asserted that he hadn’t used such language on the campaign trail, emphasizing the need to scrutinize his track record. However, moments later, he used the term himself while discussing conditions in San Francisco, referencing the cleanup efforts initiated by Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit.
Ramaswamy passionately argued that the media’s fixation on specific words detracts from substantive policy debates. He urged a shift in focus toward addressing critical issues facing the country, such as the situation at the southern border and the broader challenges the nation is currently confronting. Throughout the interview, Ramaswamy sought to redirect the conversation toward policy substance and away from what he perceived as the media’s tendency to sensationalize individual phrases for political gain.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr
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